Halloween DIYjack-o-lantern with money in mouth

Money Saving Costumes, Parties, and More!


It’s that time of year again – the weather is crisp and cool, the leaves are changing, and the pumpkins are ripe for the carving! With the holidays around the corner, it is important to stay money savvy this time of year. Here are some great ways to get the most out of your Halloween while saving money, even if your crafting skills are a little...scary.  

DIY Costumes

Great costumes don’t have to cost much. While you can always find great ideas online, like this spot or this one – or even this one, cheap Halloween costumes only require a little bit of makeup, and maybe one or two well-placed accessories, like a classic cat or witch costume. If you really want something a bit more creative, try emulating a character from one of your favorite movies or television shows. Not only could you find great items around the house, but consignment shops like Goodwill can provide any extra items at minimal cost. Bagged Halloween costumes start at $40 and end up in the $100s. They are also made with cheap material that is hardly worth the one or two nights of wear. Reach into your creative side before you reach into your wallet.

Cheap Tricks and Treats

Keep in mind, there are some items – though very few – you can only find at your pop-up Halloween store. These items (including makeup and accessories) are usually overpriced, so you should always try your favorite local superstore first, like Target, Walmart, or Kohl's. If an extravagant Halloween isn’t in your budget, the following items are affordable, spooky, and readily available in plain sight. Always make these your first stops before you resort to overpaying. 

  • Spider webbing
  • Food coloring
  • Caution tape 
  • Toilet paper or gauze
  • Makeup (Try the brands on the ends of the aisle. They are still cheaper and better for your skin than Halloween makeup)
  • Small decorative pumpkins and gourds (less than $1 at your local grocer).

Party Home Dec(horr)or

Throwing a party? Don’t overspend on detailed treats and sweets. We’ve pulled together some of our favorite ways to make your budget a little spookier with great tips from our favorite go-to DIY spots. Some money-conscious ideas include:

  • Dot some red food coloring on an old pillow case and let dry. Use it to cover your serving bowls, and fill them with a few bags of your favorite cheap Halloween candy and some popcorn. 
  • Add a little red food coloring to make some “blood” orange soda.
  • Fill a latex glove with water and freeze to make skeleton “bones” for your punch bowl. 
  • Wrap some jars or glasses in gauze, and either use them to put tea lights inside or to serve drinks in.
  • Cut out spooky silhouettes like bats, spiders, or ghosts for your windows. Place candles or lights behind them.
  • Create labels like “potions” “spells” and “curses” and place them on your books – and labels like “toad extract” or “elixir” for the bottles and jars in your pantry. Set them out as decorations.
  • Drape sheets over your furniture for that haunted house look.
  • Give your kids a pillow case for collecting trick-or-treat candy.

Whatever your plans to get the party started, an empty wallet is a little too scary for us. If you need extra help this fall, check out our award winning Financial Education Program for more ways to manage your money. See how much you can save!